What the PSI!?

PSI is, typically something you are probably familiar with when it comes to car tyres, bicycles tyres, and blood pressure readings!!

Meaning - Pounds per square inch or a measure of force per unit area.

1 PSI is measured as one pound of force applied per one square inch.

PSI is measured using a pressure gauge. If you already have a paddleboard and use a manual pump, this is probably something you have a love-hate relationship with!

If you don't have a paddleboard yet, it is something you will quickly become familiar with when you get pumping up your own SUP.

Most boards will have a MIN and MAX PSI label, most likely around the valve. This is the recommended maximum PSI the board should be inflated to.

I think everyone has been there, pumping up the board for what seems like an age, the board has its full shape yet the gauge is barely picking up anything. The fear that if you keep pumping you will blow the board, maybe the gauge is faulty?

More often than not, you are probably not even close to the PSI you actually need to get to in order for the board to be at its optimum pressure.

A board can actually hold its form at as little a 4PSI, not that you could paddle on it safely at that pressure.

Getting it to the correct pressure manually takes a bit of welly unless you invest in an electric pump. #lifehack But if using a manual pump, don't give up, whilst the gauge may take a while to register at the lower end of the PSI, it tends to move a bit quicker when you are getting closer to the maximum PSI.

So is PSI something you need to consider when choosing an Inflatable Paddle Board?

So here's the thing, there is a wide range of boards out there, all with different volumes that cater to different riders and styles of paddleboarding.

What we would go with, is the higher the PSI, realistically the more rigid the board will be.

Think about it, a stiffer board will cut through waters more efficiently when compared to a softer board. It will hold the rider firmly no bending mid-board. Equating to a better paddle experience.

Having a slightly underinflated board or a board with a lower PSI can drastically affect your paddle.

A floppy or soft board leads to a subpar experience, it will affect the stability of the board and in turn the passenger. Especially in choppy waters or for a heavier rider.

There can be external elements to consider when inflating boards, for example in extremely hot weather it's wise not to pump to full maximum PSI in case of air pressure increasing, resulting in blowing a seam, etc - however, that is generally not that frequent an issue on this lovely island!

And In reverse, in extreme cold, you could actually experience some reduction in PSI. Again not really a problem in Ireland!

Something to remember, we wouldn't recommend transporting inflatable stand up paddle boards on roof racks given the pressure needed with tie-down straps to keep the board secure to the roof rack, but if you choose to use this method then it is wise to let a little air out prior to tightening the tie-down straps.

Many Fanatic Boards will be a min 15PSI Maximum 20PSI.

If you would like to talk about what your Paddle Board needs might be or if you need advice on choosing a board please send John a message or call him on

086 1022203. He is only more than happy to help.